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Art Academy of Latvia Visits AUK

On Thursday, the 12th of October, AUK opened its doors to Kristaps Zarinš, a professor and rector at the Art Academy of Latvia. The meeting was established to discuss opportunities for cooperative relations between AUK's Department of Art and Graphic Design and the Art Academy of Latvia.

With hopes of fostering opportunities for exchange programs between the two institutions, Zarinš met with President Sullivan and Provost Awwad at the start of the day. During a presentation, Zarinš displayed different aspects of the institution, such as how it focuses on art and design offering specific disciplines such as glass blowing, fashion design, wood carving, and others. Both institutions hope that workshops, video conferencing and exchanges between students and faculty can happen in the future. However, the President and Dean were not the only people Zarinš met with. Further into his visit, Department Chair and Associate Professor of the Department of Studio Arts and Graphic Design William Andersen gave a small tour of the campus and the Liberal Arts building, making time to point out some of the student artwork on display on the third and fifth floors of the building. This was followed by a meeting with most of the faculty in the Art and Graphic Design Department before the day came to its close.

Department Chair, William Andersen commented that, "AUK was honored and delighted to meet with a delegation from the Art Academy of Latvia. We discussed mutual interests and talked of possible future exchange of students and faculty, as well as collaborative research in art, design and media. Cultural exchange is something both institutions value as crucial to tolerant coexistence and creative innovation. The faculty of the Department of Art and Graphic Design were particularity impressed by the variety and depth of the Academy's areas of expertise-including fashion and jewelry design, glassblowing, printmaking, painting, and multimedia design, as well as with the architecture and greenery of the campus. After a tour of AUK's facilities and exhibits of our students' work in art and design, Rector Kristaps Zarinš noted the similarity of both our institutions' pedagogical approaches and its high quality. We look forward to future visits and exchanges with the Art Academy of Latvia".

The Art Academy of Latvia is a higher education institution and research competence center in art, design and theory of art. It was established in the capital of Latvia, Riga, in 1919 and has become an important center of competence both regionally and in Europe. It has been the cradle of the Latvian art and culture, introducing the creative art space. The main goal of the Art Academy of Latvia is to provide qualitative, globally competitive education to gifted young talents.

The Art and Graphic Design Department at the American University of Kuwait actively seeks to keep on the cutting edge of the profession in theory, technology and practice in order to cultivate effective global communication skills and active thinkers. We value integrity, academic freedom, creative diversity and professional excellence. We are committed to inspiring life-long learners who value a knowledge-based economy and will contribute to their local communities.

AUK President, Dr. Tim Sullivan, Provost Dr. Rawda Awwad and Mr. Kristaps Zarinš, a Professor and Rector at the Art Academy of Latvia

Discussion on building relations between AUK's Department of Art and Graphic Design and the Art Academy of Latvia

Group photo for AUK's Department of Art and Graphic Design and Mr. Kristaps Zarinš

Mr. Zarinš previews AUK students' work in art and design

Released by the Office of Public Affairs on the 26th October 2017

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